Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has deployed about 200 trained observers to Osun state for the upcoming 2018 Governorship elections. Mr. Mboho Eno, the Accountability Program Manager at the PTCIJ disclosed this on Friday after addressing the Observers their deployment to the 30 local government areas in Osun state.
Mr Mboho described the observers as ready after a one-week intensive training program designed to bring up their level of readiness, “these observers were trained on how to be highly observant and alert as they discharge their duties of ensuring free and fair elections in Osun State”. He explained further that the observers are well-positioned to evaluate all aspects of the election process and collect relevant data as they are made available thus allowing for an accurate assessment of Election Day procedures.
Each of these observers has been equipped with access to the open election platform a civic technology tool designed with the goal of ensuring confidence in the process, deter fraud, and provide an accurate assessment of the election, he said.
Charged with the all-important role of promoting open electoral data principles and practices as a means of increasing public confidence in genuinely democratic elections in Nigeria, these observers will comment on the transparency of electoral practices and processes during the election.
“These efforts are being made to contribute to promoting public confidence in the Osun elections, calming tensions in the post-election period and promoting accuracy, transparency and accountability and ultimately a free and fair election.
Credible elections are characterized by inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, and competitiveness, and these observers have been equipped with requisite knowledge to provide insight on the actions and activities of all parties involved in the election including that all eligible citizens in Osun are able to exercise their right to vote and elect their representatives of choice into office.
It is worthy of note that most of these election observers are campus journalists who have undergone several pieces of training and have been exposed to some measure of journalistic rigour under the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism’s Campus Journalism Program.
Past Administrations in Osun
Osun state has experienced its fair share of political intrigues especially for the highest seat of the state. After the epileptic dabblings into democracy interspersed with military rule; in 1999, the beginning of the country’s longest stretch of democratic rule, Chief Bisi Akande was elected as the Governor and he served the state from 29th May 1999- 29th May 2003. Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola took over from Chief Akande and served his first term from 29th May 2003 to 29th May 2007 without hitch. His second term however was cut short in its fourth year when a landmark judgment on the 26th November 2010, by the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan nullified his election and Engr. Rauf Aregbesola was declared the validly elected Governor in the 14th April, 2007 Gubernatorial Election. Engr Rauf Aregbesola is the present Governor of the State and having served two terms will be handing over the baton to the next democratically elected candidate.
It is hoped that as Osun decides on 22nd September 2018, the only intrigues will be that of the supremacy of the democratic process.